Occupational Health In The Energy Sector
There are plenty of hazards for workers involved across the spectrum of heavy industries and that applies if you work in the energy sector too. Occupational risks to health are part and parcel of some jobs and the significant size of the energy sector in the UK means that many thousands of workers are potentially in danger of suffering ill effects.
Types of jobs
The energy sector covers the production, transport and delivery processes of a number of different raw materials and end-user energy products. Some of the work can involve operating in hostile environments such as the North Sea offshore oil and gas rigs, while more regular roles can also hold dangers in the shape of slips, trips and falls during difficult manual work.
With this in mind, health and safety concerns play a major role in the day-to-day running of the industry as occupational health problems can often be avoided or mitigated by using the correct equipment and offering the right training.
How to stay healthy
Although much of the burden of ensuring the health of workers in the energy sector rightly falls on employers, every individual should do their bit to make sure they are keeping risks to their own well-being at a minimum. Using the right equipment and safety clothing for each task is paramount, but it is equally important to ensure that these items are in good condition and maintained and replaced on a regular basis.
Likewise, cutting corners can always be a temptation when it comes to improving productivity and getting the job done faster, and while pressure from management to do this can often be counterproductive, workers themselves can sometimes be to blame too.
In the past working conditions may have been deemed unsafe for many different reasons but today the risks are more likely to come as by-products of equipment use rather than a lack of their provision. For instance, workers who deal with machinery that produces high levels of noise such as wind turbines can risk deafness.
Although this is one area where rules and regulations are actually quite strict when it comes to the use of safety equipment, some people can still suffer negative effects. In fact deafness caused by machinery compensation claims are growing as more people become aware of the problems that this particular occupational health hazard can cause.
Awareness and prevention
As with any industry that has inherent dangers, the energy sector has had to face up to its responsibilities to employees and make sure occupational health problems are addressed. With the high quality of protective clothing and equipment now available, and the emphasis on safety training, awareness of potential problems is higher than ever. This means there is no excuse for taking risks, and the result is that workers in the sector can expect to be in a far safer environment than they might have in the past.
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